Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Deer hunters across Wisconsin can head back into the woods this weekend as archery and crossbow hunting season begins. Over the past few years, more hunters are trying different types of deer hunting, including archery as well as bow and cross bow.

“If there was any silver lining with COVID, it was people reintroduced into the outdoors. So, a lot of extra time maybe working from home and had an opportunity to get back out in the outdoors.”

The numbers back what Moulton’s seeing. The DNR says last year there were about 25-thousand more archery and cross bow deer hunting licenses issued in the state compared to 2019.

And the interest may not be going away. Moulton says it’s been pretty busy at Mouldy’s this week.

“A lot of customers coming in right now. A lot of hunters getting ready maintenance-wise, checking out their strings and cables and checking out their equipment, making sure it’s in tune. Picking up broadheads, sighting in on the range, that kind of stuff. Getting ready for the big day.”

Whether that big day is your first, or if you’re a seasoned pro at archery or cross bow deer hunting, it’s important you stay safe during your hunt.

“Treat every crossbow and bow if it were loaded, always point the point the bow and cross bow in a safe direction, be certain of your target, both what’s before it and beyond it, and always keep your finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.”

And whether you’re heading out this year for the first time, or it’s something you’ve been doing for a long time, Moulton says there’s nothing like a successful shot.

“Archery’s kind of a journey. You start early in the year; you really work at it, and you appreciate the work and the effort that you put in. So, when that moment comes when you do get a deer in front of you and you make that perfect shot, you really appreciate all the time and the effort that went into it and there is a huge adrenaline rush.”

The archery and cross bow deer seasons run through January 8th. Gun deer season lasts from November 19th through the 27th.

Moulton says that if this is going to be your first season with a bow and arrow, it’s important you practice before heading out hunting.